What You Need to Know About Surviving the Economic Crisis Lab Style

By Russell A. Gagain LO, ABOC, NCLC
The news has kept us all informed of the economic outlook regarding the sub-prime mortgages, oil prices, and the countless number of activities that led up to our present “Economic Crisis.” This is a cycle, albeit a difficult one.

Currently, the overall economy is still experiencing the ripple effects of increasing unemployment numbers approaching 10 percent and the decrease in consumer spending as seen by the drop in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The good news is that we are seeing easing in the declines and in fact seeing some increases. The real GDP decreased 5.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 after decreasing 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Consumer confidence is still low, but is on the rise. Consumers are still concerned with their jobs and watching their assets and personal income closely.

In the near future, corporations will begin to show rises in net incomes and profits. This is good news for all of us. IBM, Google, J.P Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs are all reporting positive results. This will translate into optimism for both the financial and housing markets. As this trend continues through 2009, consumer confidence will increase. The saved funds that insulated the consumer from the impacts of the recession will now start to be spent.

What can lab owners do today in regards to the “Economic Crisis?” Think outside the box. One must now approach doctors, optometrists, and opticians in a different manor. Make attractive offers to them that they cannot refuse. Offer incentive programs for lens only packages. Their customers may not prefer to invest in new frames, “Just a refill please.” Use your own frame inventory as an incentive! Offer children’s packages…. parents will go without, but when it comes to their children, they will not. It is your job to change this risk-averse behavior. Think of ways that the $787 billion spend from the Obama Administration will support your business. This can include a safety glasses campaign for construction companies that have been awarded contracts based on the stimulus package. Give those eye care professional options.

Take this opportunity to become more efficient by improving and rearranging your lab, regroup, review your lease… the growth of your businesses depends on it. It is now time to re-invest and organize in such ways that will improve your performance as you begin to get busier.

Russell A. Gagain, LO, ABOC, NCLC, is the finishing and consumables product specialist with Gerber Coburn, A Gerber Scientific Company, South Windsor, CT 860-648-6759. WWW.GERBERCOBURN.COM

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May/June LabTalk 2017